WALLAN wasted little time reasserting its premiership credentials, while Romsey made a strong statement against rival Lancefield in the return of Riddell District football on Saturday.
The Magpies trailed at quarter time against Riddell and led by only nine points at the final change, but stormed home with seven goals to one in the last quarter to earn a comfortable 14.9 (93) to 7.4 (46) win against finals aspirant Riddell on the road.
Assistant coach Spencer Mathieson said the team’s effort had been pleasing.
“As a club we haven’t won that much over the last two decades at Riddell so we knew it was going to be a test, especially coming off the lockdown break,” he said.
“Riddell had the wind the first quarter and I thought we had a good quarter but we conceded a couple of late goals to lose the quarter by a goal.
“In the second term with the breeze, Riddell did well and got plenty of numbers around the footy to deny us space – we had seven shots at goal but didn’t convert all our chances.
Mathieson said the Magpies had a better time at the stoppages in the third quarter than they did in the first half.
“Riddell were in front late in the term but we kicked two crucial late goals to draw the quarter. We had our best quarter for clearances and won the last quarter well,” he said.
Mathieson said the win took on extra significance after the passing of coach Daniel Nolan’s grandfather Barry ‘Gabby’ Nolan.
“We wanted to honour Baz, a great footballer/coach in the past and a true gentleman,” Mathieson said.
Matt Perri was a standout with eight goals, while Corey Viani, Steven Boyall, Matt Bonello, Nathan Fowler and Will Brock were among the other to impress the coaches.
Romsey also showed its intention to challenge for a finals spot with a 20.7 (127) to 6.3 (39) thumping of Lancefield at Lancefield Park.
The Redbacks led by only three goals at half time but finished with plenty of run in their legs, kicking 14 goals to three after the long break.
Big man Nathan Hoy’s four goals earned him best-afield honours, but he had plenty of support through the likes of defender Michael Tinkler, wingman Will Di Pietro and captain Nathan Blair in the middle.
For Lancefield, youngster Lachlan Giles played one of his best games of the season, with Jayden Williams, Thomas Keaney and Matt Bowden also pitching in.
This weekend Wallan will have a chance to atone for its sole loss of the season when it hosts second-placed Macedon.
Lancefield has an excellent chance to add to its tally of two victories as it plays host to winless Western Rams, while Romsey is also at home to Woodend-Hesket.
While the football match between Romsey and Lancefield was one-sided, the clubs’ A Grade netballers played out a thrilling one-goal game.
The Redbacks were heartbreakingly denied their first win of the season, losing to the Tigers in a brave effort.
Jordan Furness played an outstanding game for Lancefield bringing her side back from a two-goal quarter time deficit with a match-high 41 goals.
The teams traded blows for much of the match, with Romsey’s Hope Evans netting an impressive 35 goals of her own at the other end of the court.
Romsey coach Kiara Taylor played strongly with 13 goals as a foil for Evans at goal attack, and Milly Cram continued a good recent run of form for the Redbacks, but a three-goal deficit at the final change proved too much to overcome as the Tigers won 49-48.
Goal defence Kira Baldwin and wing defence Ella Stoward joined Furness among Lancefield’s best players.
The Tigers moved above Melton Centrals into seventh place with the win – their third of the season – and will take plenty of confidence into this week’s match-up against the Western Rams.
Romsey, meanwhile, will host Woodend-Hesket as it continues to search for a breakthrough win.
Wallan will also be buoyed after upsetting ladder leader Riddell in an away match.
The Magpies found themselves three goals adrift at quarter time but rallied well in the second and third terms to build a seven-goal lead, then held on to win 46-41.
Tahnysha Salanoa’s move into defence continued to pay dividends for the Magpies, as she restricted Riddell goalie Tara O’Grady to just 14 goals through the first three quarters.
Chloe Meulenmeesters continued her own strong form at the other end of the court with 37 goals from 48 attempts.
The Magpies will take on Macedon on Saturday and could finish the round in second place if they win and other results fall their way.